Benedict Smiles

Benedict Smiles

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I agree with everything K. and K. have said. I too wish we lived closer!
    Other than that, maybe you may want to use a bit of the weekend (although I wouldn’t say EVERY weekend), when your husband can have some daddy time with the children. I do it every once in a while: they all go to the playground, or to the library, or even just to a bedroom, and I work on the house. It can even double as pleasant time alone when I can listen to a CD. Of course, Ben is still very young and nursing, so he cannot be far from you for a long time: this is the central reality of your life right now.
    Since you’re reading Home Comforts (and maybe this little crisis was inspired by the book! I always feel I want to be a better homemaker when I read it), you know how she says that consistency is the key: a little bit every day, so you hopefully avoid the snowball effect of things spinning out of control.
    But even just the bare minimum is difficult when you have young children: for instance, they need a lot of time outside, especially since we’re heading toward the cold days, and that’s all time a mother cannot spend cleaning (unless you trust the girls in the yard by themselves for a while.)
    So, as always, the key is overall balance: spend time alone, time with your husband, time with the children, but don’t neglect your need to be proud of your homemaking skills. Overall balance means that in the short run you’re sure to have unbalanced days when you do more of one thing than the others: when you’re unhappy, console yourself thinking that you’ll have other days to bring things back on track.
    All right, this is way too long. I home I didn’t sound like a know-it-all… To think all I came here for this morning was to tell you that only for today you can download for free Home Education by Charlotte Mason at [url=][/url] (they offer a free homeschooling resource every weekday, and some things are truly beautiful.)

  • I have been treading water for about 9 years now.  You get used to it.  We have fresh, homemade meals, clean laundry, seasonal clothes that fit, read alouds, a garden, clean bathrooms and a clean kitchen.  The rest for me is gravy.  You have no idea how I used to beat myself up that I can’t keep on top of everything. But I can’t, and I have been enjoying the parts of my life that are changing so quickly instead.  The dust, you will always have with you. 

  • Things change. There are times (like yours now) when getting everything done seems impossible, then others when it suddenly becomes easier (I have just hit one of those. O joy!). Very soon Sophie and Bella will spend more and more time playing together and have much less need for your attention because they will entertain each other. Also they will need less supervision. I found with my older two that there was a big difference between three and four. I remind myself of this frequently wink. I predict that within six months you will find it much easier (and less guilt inducing) to let the girls play while you catch up with stuff round the house. Meanwhile, think in terms of baby steps. Many jobs can be broken down into five or ten minute chunks. If you can do even a couple of those small chunks most days, you will gradually get on top of the mess – tidy one shelf, clean one window, or whatever. And try to let go of the guilt about what doesn’t get done.

  • I regret I don’t live nearby. Then I could bring the girls over, Bella, Cecilia, Sophia and Felicity could play together while Ben and Elizabeth nap together and I could help you clean.

    You may lament that you only got done 1% of what needs to be done. But those 1%s will add up. Be patient with yourself and just do what you can when you can. You can only do your best and you will see the results over time.

    As far as “ignoring the girls” there will be some cleaning tasks in which you can involve them. When you dust, give Bella and Sophia each a rag and they can “help” you. Cecilia and Felicity help me move the clothes when I do laundry. And when they can’t “help” they can always play with each other. (Sometimes it is a good thing that they see that mommy can’t entertain them all the time.)

    I want to second what Kathryn said about jobs being broken down into 5 or 10 minute chunks. I cleaned my shower/tub during my shower over the course of 3 showers. I cleaned two toilets while the girls took their bath. While Elizabeth was stirring from her nap I wiped the mirrors and counters in two bathrooms. After a week, all that was left were the floors and two bathrooms will be clean.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’ve had several mothers tell me that 3, 3 and under is the hardest it will ever be. Like me, keep reminding yourself it will only get easier and then thank God for the sanity you still have. smile

  • Thanks, ladies, you are all awesome. I can always count on you for a great pep talk when I need it. It’s all stuff I already know, of course. But isn’t that the stuff we need to hear the most?

    Renee, I love “The dust, you will always have with you. ” It drives me crazy (not so much guilt as just an inner perfectionist who can’t shut up) , but maybe I just need to pray for the grace to be blind to the dust and cobwebs and to pay more attention to the beautiful smiles that adorn my home.

    Also check out the always lovely Kristen at Small Treasures today. Boy does she give me a necessary kick in the pants, reminding me there are many women who would love to have a messier house and more children.